A 40-foot static cone penetrometer

Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference
By:  and 



The Navy needs a lightweight device for testing seafloor soils to sub bottom depths of 12 meters in water depths to 60 meters. To meet this need a quasistatic cone penetration device that uses water jetting to reduce friction on the cone rod has been developed. This device is called the XSP-40. The 5-ton XSP-40 stands 15 meters tall and pushes a standard 5-ton cone into the seafloor. It is remotely controlled with an electronic unit on the deck of the support vessel. All cone outputs are recorded directly as a function of penetration depth with a strip chart recorder. A full suite of gauges is provided. on the electronic unit for monitoring the XSP-40's performance during a test .. About 40 penetration tests have been performed with very good success.

The XSP-40 was field tested in Norton Sound, off the west coast of Alaska. The general objective, in addition to evaluation of the device, was to gather geotechnical information on sediments that may be involved in processes potentially hazardous to offshore development. Four example penetration records are presented from gas charged sediment zones and areas near the Yukon River delta. In general it was determined that soil classification from cone data agreed well with classifications from core samples. Relative densities of the silt-sand to sandy-silt soils were usually very high. The significance of these results are discussed with respect to storm wave, liquefaction.

It is concluded that the XSP-40 is a durable and reliable piece of equipment capable of achieving penetration beyond that possible when not using the water jet system.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title A 40-foot static cone penetrometer
Series title Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher Offshore Technology Conference
Description 12 p.
Conference Title Offshore Technology Conference
Conference Location Houston, TX
Conference Date May 3-6, 1982